Since its inception in 1980, the Shehebar Sephardic Center has grown into a world renowned institution with an outstanding reputation for high quality programs, as well as a resource for Sephardic communities worldwide to identify rabbis, dayans, teachers, mohels, shochets and spiritual leadership.
The SSC has a thriving kollel, rabbinical training program and dayanut program in the Old City of Jerusalem. The SSC also operates synagogues in the Far East, helps struggling Jewish communities and operates schools in Uzbekistan and Russia. Each project is designed to help Sephardic communities combat assimilation and intermarriage with spiritual leadership.
The SSC has trained more than 300 rabbis. These spiritual leaders now serve Sephardic Jews in 80 cities, 33 countries, and six continents around the world.
Seen as the global source for Sephardic training, the SSC receives calls daily from Diaspora Jewish communities looking for rabbinic leadership to build a kahal, lead holiday services, to teach in a school, or to oversee the kashrut of a restaurant.No matter what the need, the SSC fills the void by sending its graduates to the remotest towns or the most highly populated cities, to serve and inspire the people there.
To counter the effects of assimilation and intermarriage by filling the critical need by Sephardic communities around the world for professional Sephardic rabbis well-versed in Jewish law and Torah and the minhag of Sephardim by providing an accredited rabbinical training program that meets the everyday challenges faced by Diaspora communities.
Assimilation and intermarriage are eating away at Jewish population figures in every Jewish community around the world. The Shehebar Sephardic Center (SSC) performs a vital role in repairing and rebuilding communities affected by these critical issues by placing well qualified rabbinical leaders in communities around the world so they can revive these dying communities.
These rabbis are Torah scholars who can provide answers to essential questions, instill Jewish values and practices in the communities they serve and educate community members about their Jewish past. By doing so, the SSC counters the affects of assimilation and intermarriage and ensures Jewish continuity through education.
Our Values At the Shehebar Sephardic Center, we stand on the foundations of strong Jewish Values:
►G-d's omnipresence: an all powerful G-d, who created the world, watches over it and cares for it.
►Tikkun Olam: improving and repairing the world, taking care of our fellow man.
►Torah Knowledge: delivering its knowledge and living in accordance with its mitzvot.
The Shehebar Sephardic Center is crucial in that it reaches out to small and neglected communities. The SSC accomplishes this by educating Jewish people in each of the communities it serves and providing a strong Jewish foundation for generations to come.
In the next decade, the SSC will educate and place 100 more of its graduates in neglected communities, from small windswept towns in the U.S. to remote areas in Eastern Europe. There are many communities that are in danger of disappearing if the SSC is not active in helping them.
Shehebar Sephardic Center History
The Shehebar Sephardic Center (SSC) was founded in 1980 by Rabbi Sam Kassin and Rabbi Eliyahu Shamoula in the old city of Jerusalem. The center is named for Gabriel Shehebar, who supported the center in its initial years.
The SSC reaches out to neglected Sephardic communities throughout the Diaspora. By training and placing dedicated rabbis and teachers well versed in all aspects of Torah, Sephardic tradition and community relations, the SSC saves communities from assimilation and cultural extinction. These communities are provided with rabbinical leaders who are able to transform these communities into thriving Jewish centers. Each rabbi completes a four to five year course of study in Jewish law, education, Talmud kosher slaughtering, marriage and divorce, and mohelim (performance of circumcision required on the 8th day after the birth of a boy) so that these communities can sustain their rich heritage. In addition, the students must complete a leadership training program, which includes public speaking, substance abuse, philosophy, psychology, negotiation, and family counseling.
During the last three decades, the SSC has placed more than 150 Rabbis in struggling communities in such diverse locations from Kowloon, Hong Kong to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and from Barranquilla, Columbia to Capetown, South Africa. Each week the SSC is approached with a request for a rabbi at some community around the world. More than 20 congregations around the world have turned to the SSC in recent months with the request that for a qualified and well-trained Sephardic rabbi.
Rabbi Kassin and Rabbi Shamoula founded the SSC on the belief that by training and placing rabbis qualified to teach Jewish law and tradition, they are saving save Jewish communities and providing Jewish continuity.